What was the impact of data quality problems on the companies described in this case study? What management, organization, and technology factors caused these problems? BT Group had data quality issues within the product inventory and customer billing databases, resulting in poor efficiency of the system. The case doesn’t really give the reason that these databases contained inaccurate data. However, one can assume that the errors were caused by lack of structure within the organization at data collection points. Emerson Process Management, had a data warehouse that was collecting data from transaction processing systems across the world. The inaccurate data was caused by assuming that all members of the global sales team would be entering the data consistently. The differences in each culture along with the acquisition and absorption of companies into the Emerson group let to multiple processes for entering quote, billing, shipping, and other data. Cintas discovered that through expansion of their business, the data was not being collected in a consistent manner. When they attempted to integrate the data into one data warehouse they found customers that were listed in multiple databases with enough variation to be considered a unique record. Bank of America had to cleanse its data warehouse to comply with the newly established standards set forth in the Patriot Act. Since the new provisions were put in place the data quality was given a higher priority.
In summary it appears that the main reason for the poor data quality was a result of ineffective processes for collecting the data. If there were consistent systems in place at data collection points, the integration of data would have been much easier.
How did the companies described in this case solve their data quality problems? What management, organization, and technology issues had to be addressed? The BT Group chose to attack the data quality issue in-house, by stressing the importance...
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